Chicago Teachers Union enlisting downstate support in Springfield
Chicago's powerful teachers union donated to 29 state representatives and senators in 2015.
But will they support the powerful union's call to shift school money to Chicago, away from downstate districts?
If the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is going to achieve its goal of $1.6 billion more in spending by Chicago Public Schools (CPS), it will need more than just another large property tax hike on Chicago homeowners.
It will require more money from non-Chicago taxpayers — those living in the Chicago suburbs and downstate — and more support from their non-Chicago representatives in Springfield.
Increasing state spending to the CPS means decreasing it to suburban and downstate districts, the overwhelming majority of whom already receive a lower state subsidy than Chicago.
Are there suburban or downstate legislators who might back a Chicago schools bailout, costing their own schools in the process?
A Southwest Illinois News analysis of Chicago Teachers Union Political Action Committee (CTU PAC) campaign finance reports found that in 2015, it made $28,500 in donations to 29 state legislators whose districts don’t include any Chicagoans.
All 29 legislators receiving CTU PAC donations were Democrats; 19 represent the Chicago suburbs and 10 are downstate.
CTU has seen state funding to Chicago Public Schools grow significantly over the past decade — from $1.4 billion in 2005 to $1.8 billion in 2014, an increase of 29 percent.
Sheila Simon, Democrat candidate for State Senate in the 58th District, received $4,500 in contributions from CTU from 2012-13.
The rich get richer?
Chicago schools already receive more money from state and federal taxpayers than 36 school districts surveyed across Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, Randolph, St. Clair, Monroe, Union and Perry counties.
|School District||Non-Local Funding (Per Pupil)|
|Chicago Public Schools||$7,515|
|Mount Vernon 80||$7,399|
|Grand Prairie 6/Centralia||$7,337|
|Unity Point 140||$5,980|
|Mount Vernon 201||$5,506|
|McClellan 12/Mt. Vernon||$5,345|
|Bethel SD 82/Mt. Vernon||$5,266|
|Anna Jonesboro 81||$4,887|
|Summersville 79/Mt. Vernon||$4,618|
|Giant City 130||$3,921|
|Pinckneyville CCSD 204||$2,762|
|Red Bud 132||$1,600|
Chicago Teachers Union pets
Chicago’s share of state school spending has soared over the past decade. Which Southern Illinois legislators received donations from CTU during that period? Here's a list.
|Sen. Gary Forby||(D-Anna)||$17,000|
|Rep. Dan Reitz||(D-Red Bud)||$6,000|
|Rep. Jim Fowler||(D-Harrisburg)||$5,500|
Organizations in this Story
Chicago, IL, United States